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PBL Exploring the Impact of Climate Change on Bird Migration with Journey North Questions

PBL Exploring the Impact of Climate Change on Bird Migration with Journey North Questions


Title: Exploring Citizen Science with Journey North

Grade Level: 6-8

Duration: 4-6 weeks

Subject: Science

Unit Description: In this Problem-Based Learning (PBL) unit, students will delve into the world of citizen science using Journey North, an online platform that engages participants in tracking and recording natural phenomena. Through this citizen science project, students will explore migration patterns of different species, observe and record data, and contribute their findings to a larger community of scientists. They will come to understand that their individual actions can contribute to significant scientific discoveries.

Student Learning Objectives (SLOs): By the end of this unit, students will be able to:

  1. Explain the concept of citizen science and its importance in scientific research.
  2. Use Journey North to collect data on a specific migratory species.
  3. Analyze and interpret data to draw conclusions about migration patterns.
  4. Collaborate with peers to present their findings in a digital format.
  5. Reflect on the impact of their citizen science contributions on broader scientific knowledge.


  1. WebQuest Completion (30 points): Students will be assessed on their participation in and completion of the WebQuest activities, including research, data collection, and the creation of a digital presentation.
  2. Digital Presentation (40 points): Working in small groups, students will create a digital presentation (e.g., a website, video, or slideshow) summarizing their findings, including migration patterns, data analysis, and the significance of their contributions to citizen science.
  3. Reflection Essay (20 points): Students will write a reflection essay discussing what they learned from the project, the importance of citizen science, and how their actions as citizen scientists can impact scientific knowledge.
  4. Peer Assessment (10 points): Each student will evaluate their group members’ contributions to the project, assessing their teamwork and individual efforts.

Unit Activities:

Week 1: Introduction to Citizen Science

  • Day 1: Introduction to citizen science and its significance.
  • Day 2: Explore Journey North and its features.
  • Day 3: Select a migratory species to study and create a group.

Week 2: Data Collection

  • Day 1-3: Research the chosen species, its migration patterns, and the data collection process.
  • Day 4-5: Begin collecting data through Journey North and record observations.

Week 3: Data Analysis and Collaboration

  • Day 1-2: Analyze collected data and identify migration patterns.
  • Day 3-4: Collaborate with group members to create a digital presentation plan.

Week 4: Creating Digital Presentations

  • Day 1-3: Design and create digital presentations (website, video, or slideshow).
  • Day 4-5: Review and edit presentations for accuracy and clarity.

Week 5: Presentations and Reflection

  • Day 1-2: Groups present their findings to the class.
  • Day 3: Reflect on the impact of their citizen science contributions.
  • Day 4: Peer assessment of group members.
  • Day 5: Submit reflection essays.

Week 6: Celebration and Discussion

  • Day 1: Celebrate the completion of the project and discuss the broader implications of citizen science.
  • Day 2: Discuss future opportunities for participating in citizen science projects.


  • The WebQuest will guide students through the entire process, providing links to relevant resources, step-by-step instructions, and assessment criteria.
  • It will include sections on selecting a species, data collection, data analysis, and creating the digital presentation.
  • The WebQuest will encourage students to explore Journey North and related websites for information and data collection.
  • It will emphasize the importance of accurate data collection and responsible scientific contributions.

By the end of this PBL unit, students will not only have gained a deeper understanding of citizen science and its role in scientific discovery but will also have experienced firsthand how their actions can contribute to a larger scientific community. This unit aligns with the SLOs, assessments, and activities, ensuring a comprehensive and engaging learning experience.

PBL Exploring the Impact of Climate Change on Bird Migration with Journey North Questions





Design a PBL that focuses on a citizen science topic using journey north. This will be a second instructional unit and you can refer to the directions supplied in Unit 3. Review your previous unit and use feedback to ensure this PBL/citizen science instructional unit incorporates said feedback. Be careful to ensure the SLOs, assessments and activities are aligned. In this PBL you will be required to use a WebQuest to encourage students to incorporate technology.

The Problem-based WebQuest should support student learning from Journey North. Review the directions from Unit 3 as well as the WebQuest directions below. Develop an authentic assignment that would engage your students and let them see they are part of a bigger population of citizen scientists. Help them learn that single actions can have a large impact.

A WebQuest is a specific kind of web-based learning activity. It was developed by Bernie Dodge, a professor of educational technology at San Diego State University. WebQuests provide students with the opportunity to work independently or in small group activities that incorporate research, problem solving, and application of basic skills. This teacher-created lesson guides student research using the Internet while incorporating skills such as problem solving. https://etc.usf.edu/techease/mac/internet/what-is-a-webquest/ provides additional information regarding the essential components of a WebQuest.

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